The federal government must have funds from the stimulus bill (known as the Recovery Act, or by its acronym ARRA) allotted by March 19, 2009. That's 30 days after it was signed into law, and less than two weeks from today.
Agencies that will spend those funds are beginning to set up policies, principles, rules and regulations for how they will invest stimulus money. The U.S. Department of Labor has just released the following Training and Employment Notice (30-08) explaining the ground rules for how state and local workforce agencies should use the funds. The full text of the notice is below, but here are the key principles:
- Transparency and accountability are expected at all levels, including frequent communication with the American public;
- Funds will be expedited, and expenditures will be made concurrently with regular formula funds;
- Emphasis should be on training and on innovative and invigorated service delivery strategies;
- The emphasis should also be on services for hard-to-serve populations and needs-related payments.
Other agencies are setting policies and making Recovery Act information available at the state and local level. These include
- Worksystems, Inc. in Portland, Oregon has created a set of principles to guide their use of funds
- U.S. Conference of Mayors recently held a series of workshops offering advice and guidance on how to use the funds for summer youth employment programs - read notes from the workshops here, courtesy of Michele Martin
- The California Workforce Association has created a wiki full of ARRA-related resources
- The White House and several states have set up websites to explain and track how they spend stimulus funds
If you know of other ARRA-related principles, policies and guidelines from other agencies, please send me links.